Why Tweeting About Getting High Isn’t a Good Idea at Work
I had an interesting conversation this week with someone in human resources about social media, particularly Twitter. They had an interesting social media workplace scenario come up that I thought I would share with my readers and let you help decide.
This human resource professional is savvy on the social medias. He/she is not there to police but to learn while also monitoring the activities of employees as well as customers who mention the company where he/she work’s brand. Earlier this week they noticed a message from an employee who was tweeting their frustration with a company change in mandatory dress code. Upon clicking on that employee’s Twitter profile the message previously tweeted, really (I mean really) caught their attention.
The employee tweeted about using drugs and getting high.
Yes, you read correctly. This employee posted on his personal Twitter about getting high. The employee’s first and last name was listed on their Twitter profile to boot. Crazy, right? Not entirely.
A few years back I dealt with a similar issue where a manager needed access to an employee’s email because they were out sick for work and had a large sales order that needed to be processed. We provided the manager access and worked with IT to make this happen. Upon accessing the employee’s email, the manager saw a private email message from another employee also from his work email detailing his recent recreational activities, and these activities happen to involve smoking marijuana. And by recent, I mean to say that these “recreational activities” happened either during or before working hours according to the timestamp and timeline on the email communciation.
Of course I was quickly involved in the discussion as the human resources manager. Was this single email enough to warrant reasonable suspicion? Should human resources or the management start an investigation? Could the manager bring the employee in and require drug testing? Or was this another discussion entirely surrounding professionalism with regard to workplace communication and email?
I flashed quickly back to this scenario that I encountered when my HR colleague asked me this question. Except that him/her question was different. . . maybe. So I wanted to ask my readers who are managers, company leaders, employment law attorneys, and human resource professionals directly. Does this tweet warrant a reasonable suspicion workplace investigation or is it something else? What actions do you think should be taken if this was an employees who worked your organization? And has anything like this happened in your workplace? You are welcome to share anonymously if you wish.
I, (as well as my friend) are looking forward to your response. Thanks for reading, conversating, and being a part of Blogging4Jobs.